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04/22/2022

New York arena features Amazon ‘Just Walk Out’

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Just Walk Out
UBS Arena is offering “Just Walk Out” frictionless shopping.

Frictionless shopping is coming to the home of the New York Islanders professional hockey franchise.

Two convenience-oriented stores are open UBS Arena, and are the first in a New York-based sports and entertainment venue to feature Amazon’s Just Walk Out” technology. Originally available only in Amazon Go convenience and small-format grocery stores, Amazon then began rolling out Just Walk Out to select Amazon Fresh high-tech grocery locations, as well as select stores in its Climate Pledge Arena venue in Seattle. The retailer also licenses the technology to third-party retailers.

Customers visiting the two Just Walk Out-enabled stores at UBS Arena can insert their credit card at the entry gates to shop. Once they’re inside, anything a customer takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart. When customers have completed their shopping experience, they will be able to just leave the store and the credit card they inserted will be charged for the items they took.

The two stores are branded “On the Fly” and operated by foodservice partner Delaware North. Offerings include an assortment of packaged beer, spiked seltzers, soda, bottled water, chips, candies and sundries. Delaware North associates will serve as greeters and provide in-store assistance as needed. Customers purchasing alcohol will be required to show their ID to a store attendant for age verification. Various food, beverage and other retail items will be stocked on accessible shelves and refrigerators.

Sports arenas remove the friction
Frictionless shopping is becoming an increasingly popular offering at professional sports venues across the country. Fenway Park, home stadium of the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team, is unveiling the Instacart Caper Counter artificial intelligence (AI)-based POS system. Cper Counter leverages AI functionality, including computer vision and sensor fusion technology, to visually detect and identify items. Customers can place packaged food and beverage items for purchase on Caper Counter, where they will be automatically detected and added to the cart for contactless checkout.

American Airlines Center is collaborating with hospitality company Levy and its design subsidiary DBK Studio to open a new Market To-Go store utilizing an AI-based autonomous retail platform from Standard AI and mobile payment technology from SpotOn to let customers shop and checkout with a mobile app.

The San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball team is deploying the Oracle Micros Simphony Cloud POS solution at its home stadium. The Giants intend to leverage the new POS technology to make it easier for customers to order food and beverage options at concession stands or from their mobile devices. In future seasons, Oracle Park will implement self-service customer kiosks and “grab-and-go” frictionless checkout locations.

And Aramark, the exclusive food and beverage provider at Houston’s NRG Stadium, recently opened the venue’s second store featuring Zippin checkout-free technology that enables shoppers to tap a credit card to enter a store and then select the items they want.

“Giving our fans additional options to make their food and beverage experience quick and easy at UBS Arena is paramount,” said Hank Abate, president of arena operations at UBS Arena. “We want our guests to be able to enjoy all the venue has to offer, so having Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology gives them a way to enjoy their choice of snack or drink without missing a minute of play or a moment of a show.”

“We are always looking to implement technology solutions that are both easy to use and provide significant benefits to our guests. To that end, we are excited to collaborate with Amazon to use their Just Walk Out technology in these On the Fly stores at UBS Arena,” said Jeff Wilkinson, CIO at Delaware North. “These stores will deliver a fast, frictionless experience, helping to eliminate lines and get fans back to the action faster.”

“We are excited to work with UBS Arena to offer guests an easier and faster way to shop for what they need in the stadium without missing the event they’ve come to enjoy,” said Dilip Kumar, VP of physical retail & technology at Amazon. “The two checkout-free On the Fly stores are a great addition to an already stand-out arena, and we’re excited to continue expanding our collaboration with Delaware North.”